JESSE JAGZ TALKS ABOUT THE STAGE HE IS NOW, THE MUSIC HE MAKES, HIS POSITION IN CHOCOLATE CITY AND HIS NEW PROJECT TENTATIVELY TITLED LEGACY IN THIS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW FOR KEEPS.
KEEPS: Good to see you
JESSE JAGZ: Respect
KEEPS: I mingle with boys a lot and they talk about you with so much respect
JESSE JAGZ: And girls too
KEEPS: There must be something you do that they love
JESSE JAGZ: I can’t answer that question
I don’t know why they like the music, I can give you a bunch of excuses. It’s just…what’s the word? Blessed, I have been opportune to have some level of discipline in my life and those things have probably eventually helped me. I don’t think there is something I had above anybody else.
We have seen you on Tim Westwood and other bigger platforms but these days you just seem to be low-keyed.
It’s first time I am going to say this, I have reached top of the world and I found out what I went to look for, I had. It’s human, I don’t make music for Americans or for British people I make music for humans you can be anywhere in the world yeah and if you make good music yeah. At some point you have to stop searching externally and look internally.
So what have you found while looking internally?
That’s a personal… even me myself can’t explain that…I just decided to take out time in my life to…
I paused, the noise in the background was getting louder, I suggested a change of spot for the interview but Jago preferred we maintained our position in the serene environment so I pressed record and the interview progressed.
You said you can’t answer that question?
People say I have a gift to make music or people who don’t think so, I am still just a human. I worry about myself I worry about me, I like moments like this when I can just be me, sit down smoke my spliff yeah drink my alkie
People say Jago is on so much spliff and that could be the reason why he doesn’t really seem to care about the limelight anymore what will you say about that?
Baba you go to the limelight you leave the limelight Niggers is gon talk, they have mouth now. I learnt it early in my life, my dad taught me early in my life, just be you, life is in stages; there was a stage in my life where there were those things in the world that I wanted you know what I mean? Now I am at this stage it doesn’t change who I am. I am not here to please anybody. I make music for myself first. That’s what it is.
Jesse Jagz kicks a freestyle after the interview
Can you talk about the journey from Choc City to your own label and back?
There is no story like that and i think that’s why this interview is good so I can correct…there is no going here or going there. Chocolate city is family. You can never leave your family, even when you get married and you leave your father’s house; have you left your father’s house? There was that stage or age we got to, where we were all three separate artists who had all become important and are all different in their approach to music. We were all different individuals people must remember that. Choc Boiz started properly in Lagos but before then we were MI, Jesse Jagz and Ice Prince. We have always been solo artists. We were not a group, we are always family. I’ve fought with MI more times than people would ever know than people know now. So fighting with my brother is not a new thing, it’s not a news item.
So you are cool with your family.
Totally cool, I’m on board of directors on Chocolate City. They are family and shout out to Chocolate City, one of the only record labels that will allow their artists to go out and become bigger.
But you still maintain your imprint
I am still Jesse Jagz. Even though you are born under your father’s name don’t you need to be a man yourself?
I’m talking about your own label.
Jagz Nation that’s my thing but I haven’t signed any artist till now because I have left a record label before, I don’t want to be that guy. I think about my record label like Bob Marley like Fela, solely for me, for my message and my propaganda, whatever I want to spread.
Apart from the track you did with Wizkid ever since you seem to just be pushing what you want to do, are you not scared about what happens to the money?
Everybody makes their music, everybody has their fan base.
But the question everybody wants to ask is why is Jesse not bothered about bigger pay elsewhere and he seems to just be cool doing his own thing around here.
Let me ask you a question, when you are almost a million on twitter almost have a million on instagram, the world now, that’s why you have phones, can come to you where ever you are. How do you know Drake? Is Drake a Jos artiste? Does everybody here know Beyonce? Are they not natives to where they grow up? It is what I mean; let’s not have that slavery mentality that the grass on the other side is greener.
But only a few people think the way you do. Everybody wants to run to Lagos .
You can’t make excuses for other people; you can only worry about yourself. There are followers there are leaders. You just have to know who you are.
I know you’ve done a couple of collabos ever since you came around, what can you say about the guys, can you pinpoint?
I love the Jos boys, I love Mani, Joe Craze. Joe Craze is my nigger from a long time. I can do anything for that nigger. Gaya, First Born is my producer and engineer. I have a lot of people that believe in the movement, follow it and support the music.
For now, are we expecting a project from Jesse, an album, a mixtape or something else?
What’s the only thing you know about Jagz? I am always working, I can’t come back to jos to rest, I came back to the fountain of creativity in West Africa so I am working extensively, new album tentatively we have Legacy.
That is the tentative title right?
Tentative title for the album is Legacy.
So we can say Jesse is right now back in Jos but then you can move anywhere you want to go to.
I have never left Jos. You can remove a lion from the jungle but you can’t remove the jungle from the lion.
What’s your take on the state of things in Jos ever since you came back?
I will like to see a Governor that is selfless, there is no light in Jos, it discourages night life.
But that might be blamed on Jos Electricity Distribution Company.
I blamed it on human beings, it is not ghosts that are running the country, we can walk to the Governor’s office as youths right now, then if it is not your responsibility then who is responsible. I am 33 right now and my daughter is 14 I can’t be telling her excuses that my father was giving me right now, that we are just corrupt that we just happen to be a set of people that don’t think that don’t deserve the best, nah.
And on the rap blogs the respect for Jesse stands, I know so many rappers are looking up to you what advice do you have for them?
I am my number one fan first of all, secondly, just do you, if you really have the gift, don’t end up in the wrong profession, the world is wide and there is so much space for everybody to do what they want to do, don’t get caught up in education also, if you have something that you can do with your hands, men when you finish school that is still what you are going to be doing, whether it was carpentry or tailoring, or holding a camera or holding a mic yeah or making people laugh or whatever gift… after sixteen years of been in school you have to go back.
Ice Prince Jesse Jagz MI